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Oct 29
22 percent of smartwatch owners plan to use it for...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) reveals home controls and automation are key use cases in the smart watch market, as more than one in five U.S. broadband households that own or plan to buy a smart watch intend to use this device for these applications. The research group notes that more than 80 percent of smartphone/tablet users who own at least one smart home device have downloaded mobile apps for these devices.

"The accessibility of a smart watch makes it a natural fit as a remote control for smart home features such as turning on lights remotely, closing garage doors, and adjusting thermostat settings," says Harry Wang, director, Mobile and Health Products Research, Parks Associates. "Many smart home device makers and solution providers have already moved into the wearables ecosystem, with nearly 20 having created an Apple Watch app for their technology. They have to...

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Oct 29
Adobe named leader in digital experience platforms

Adobe (www.adobe.com) has been recognized as the leader in “The Forrester Wave™: Digital Experience Platforms, Q4 2015” report by Forrester Research, (www.forresterresearch.com).

Adobe was among the select companies Forrester invited to participate in the independent report, which evaluated the 10 most significant software vendors in digital experience platforms across 40 criteria. Adobe was positioned as the only leader, ranking highest in current offering.

“Adobe’s integrated platform leads the market,” stated the Forrester report. “Adobe has established a platform of best-of-breed technologies that support marketing activities. This portfolio includes web content management (WCM), testing and optimization, analytics, audience management, social publishing, and campaign management.”

Adobe Marketing Cloud includes a...

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Oct 28
Juniper Research: smart home revenues to reach $100...

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that consumer spend on smart home services, including entertainment, health, energy and home automation will reach US$100 billion by 2020, well over twice the estimated spend for this year, at $43 billion.

Entertainment services such as Netflix and Spotify are playing a key role in boosting the smart home market size, driven by a universal appeal, and the low cost of services, according to the research group. However, emerging smart home segments, such as home automation, are expected to begin catching up, driven by falling hardware costs and increased consumer awareness.

Juniper Research found that numerous home automation subscription services, such as AT&T's Digital Life, have struggled to address the mass-market. Incremental unit-by-unit purchases, to personalize the home, are therefore the most likely entry point for...

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Oct 27
77% of Americans frightened of identify theft

Nearly eight in 10 Americans (77 percent) are frightened of having their identity stolen, according to a new Bankrate.com report, including 23 percent who are very frightened. About half of Americans (46 percent) have either been a victim of identity theft or know someone who was, up 12 percentage points from 2008.

One in five Americans is not at all worried about having their identity stolen. 30-49 year-olds are the most nervous about identity theft, while millennials (18-29 year-olds) are the least concerned.

Many Americans aren’t taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves from identity theft. Forty-two percent don’t check their credit reports regularly and 41 percent conduct banking and other sensitive business on unsecured Wi-Fi networks that do not require a password.

“With news of a data hack nearly every week, consumers are doing themselves a disservice by not checking their credit reports regularly,” says Bankrate.com analyst Janna Herron. “...

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Oct 26
UK security experts skeptical of IoT device security

A new survey of more than 7,000 IT professionals from global cybersecurity association ISACA suggests that a lack of clarity and standards around Internet of Things (IoT) security is leading to a lack of confidence.

According to the UK IT professionals surveyed for ISACA’s 2015 IT Risk/Reward Barometer (http://tinyurl.com/pupb8kz), 75 percent of the security experts polled say they do not believe device manufacturers are implementing sufficient security measures in IoT devices, and a further 73 percent say existing security standards in the industry do not sufficiently address IoT specific security concerns and new standards are needed.

Combined with the assertion from 56 percent of respondents that their organization’s IT department is not aware of all of its connected devices (e.g., connected thermostats, TVs, fire alarms, cars, etc.) these figures demonstrate significant risk. The...

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Oct 23
Mobile banking users to exceed one billion this year

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) shows that over one billion mobile phone users will have used their devices for banking purposes by the end of this year. This global user base is forecast to reach two billion by 2020, by which time it will represent 37% of the global adult population.

Growth in adoption has been particularly aggressive in emerging markets, leading Juniper to revise adoption forecasts upwards. Under Juniper’s revised forecasts, mobile banking users will exceed the 1 billion mark this year instead of during H1 2016 as previously anticipated.

The new research notes that banking strategy in the retail space has evolved into an omnichannel approach by providing a seamless and integrated experience across multiple individual channels. However, while most consumers – especially in developed markets – prefer digital banking and virtual channels, a significant...

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Oct 22
Two thirds of U.S. broadband households use a...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows 66 percent of U.S. broadband households use a streaming audio service.

Among all U.S. broadband households, 40 percent use a free service to stream audio, and 26% subscribe to a paid streaming audio service. Amazon Prime Music is the top subscription music service among U.S. broadband households (10 percent), followed by Pandora One (6 percent), and Spotify Premium (4 percent).

"Consumers have shown plenty of interest in streaming audio and music services, but most consumers have opted for free accounts. Music service providers have built a model around converting free users into paying customers, but this strategy has not paid off so far," says Glenn Hower, research aAnalyst, Parks Associates. "Streaming music providers will have to get creative with revenue streams if they hope to build sustainable businesses, whether through...

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Oct 21
Wearable tech causes security, support, bandwidth...

Ipswitch's "2015 Wearable Technology Survey" (www.ipswitch.com) polled 288 IT professionals in the United States. The survey revealed that more than half of the respondents (52.7 percent) now have users wearing technology to work, a growing concern for IT pros.

IT pros’ top concerns with a high adoption of wearable technology in the workplace included security breaches (61 percent), more work to support more devices (45 percent) and decreased network bandwidth (36 percent). When asked if they had IT policies in place to manage the impact of wearable technology, nearly two-thirds (66 percent) did not while about one-quarter (24 percent) did have such a policy.

Even though wearable technology has yet to break through to the mainstream, 15 percent of all respondents noted that their companies provided wearable technology to its own workers. The most popular wearable technology in the workforce, according to...

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Oct 20
Digital games revenue to pass $100 billion per annum...

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that the digital games industry will generate software revenues of just over US$80 billion this year, rising to $104 billion by the end of 2018. The majority of this growth will stem from the contributions made by the PC market, with this industry alone accounting for 42 percent of games revenues this year, says the research group.

However mobile platforms will account for ever increasing contributions, with a market share approaching 35 percent by 2020. Meanwhile, driven by consumer uptake and software purchases from the latest generation of games consoles, software revenue generated by this segment will reach $27 billion by 2018, up from an estimated $21 billion this year.

Contrary to the rumors of its impending demise, Juniper believes that the console industry will continue to evolve to take advantage of new technological...

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Oct 19
Wireless device charging predicted to be in 50 million...

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that wireless charging is poised to change the way consumers interact with their cars, with an estimated 50 million vehicles offering built-in wireless device charging by 2020, compared with only four million this year.

The new research found that the technology will enable a range of new in-vehicle services, such as on-board audio streaming, automatic cockpit drill customisation and context-specific notification filtering, made possible through the data exchange and constant power supply. This will also allow automakers to provide software-based services merely through streaming notifications from phone to dashboard, rather than needing to keep on-board firmware and hardware updated.

With no established standard for wireless charging, manufacturers have been hesitant to adopt the technology for fear of buying into a system...

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Oct 16
Strategy Analytics: Wi-Fi calling a must-have service

With at least 10wireless operators already offering native Wi-Fi Calling, the market is set to grow rapidly in the fourth quarter (Q4)2015, according to the Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) research group.

Unlike earlier versions of calling on Wi-Fi, native Wi-Fi Calling lets users make and receive calls and texts on their smartphones just as if they were on the cellular network, using the phone's dialer and contact lists. Calls can handover between Wi-Fi and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) during the call for a seamless customer experience.

Apple's support for Wi-Fi Calling in last year's iPhone 6 encouraged more operators to add the service capabilities to their networks and offer software upgrades for capable phones—certain models from Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and others. With 13 million new Wi-Fi Calling capable iPhones 6s and 6s+ just sold in the first weekend they were on...

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Oct 15
Sales of smart home devices to explode in the next 12...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds support services are a critical part of brand strategy in the Internet of Things (IoT). According to Parks Associates' consumer research and segmentation, one-third of a key segment of consumers under 35, with high income and education, own a smart home device and more than 50% intend to purchase one in the next 12 months.

"These young, 'go-getter' consumers have a strong desire for comfort and convenience, and that combined with concerns about home safety and security makes smart home devices very attractive," says Patrice Samuels, research analyst, Parks Associates. "They are also accustomed to plug-and-play technology that just works. As we enter the next wave of smart home adoption, support strategies need to integrate with product design and development so that the consumer experience is seamless. Otherwise these consumers will...

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Oct 14
Gartner: worldwide 3D shipments to reach more than 490...

Worldwide shipments of 3D printers will reach 496,475 units in 2016, up 103 percent from the predicted 244,533 units in 2015, according to Gartner, Inc.'s latest forecast. 3D printer shipments are forecast to more than double every year between 2016 and 2019, by which time worldwide shipments are expected to reach more than 5.6 million. 

"Rapid quality and performance innovations across all 3D printer technologies are driving both enterprise and consumer demand, with unit shipment growth rates for 3D printers increasing significantly," says Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner. "The 3D printer market is continuing its transformation from a niche market to broad-based, global market of enterprises and consumers." 

Seven technologies constitute the 3D printer market, with material extrusion forecast to lead 2015 shipments at 232,336 units, increasing to 5,527,493 units in 2019 (97.5 percent of the total) largely due to the sales of low cost, entry-level...

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Oct 13
Eighteen percent of U.S. broadband households own a...

New consumer research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds that overall adoption of smart home devices has increased from 13 percent of U.S. broadband households in the second quarter of 2014 to 18 percent in the second quarter of 2015. Smart product adoption shows growth in smart home adoption is a combination of sales of existing product categories and an increase in the breadth of smart products entering the market.

"Consumer familiarity with smart home products and services is low. Therefore, manufacturers and service providers must educate consumers on the capabilities and benefits of smart home solutions," saysTom Kerber, director, Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates. "Channels seeing the most success are those that are able to connect with consumers and can provide an interactive discussion where consumers can ask questions to fully understand the...

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Oct 12
Gartner: future of the data center is software defined

The software-defined data center (SDDC) is crucial to the long-term evolution of an agile digital business according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). It is not, however, the right choice for all IT organizations currently, according to the research group.

"Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders need to understand the business case, best use cases and risks of an SDDC," says Dave Russell, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Due to its current immaturity, the SDDC is most appropriate for visionary organizations with advanced expertise in I&O engineering and architecture."

An SDDC is a data center in which all the infrastructure is virtualized and delivered "as-a-service." This enables increased levels of automation and flexibility that will underpin business agility through the increased adoption of cloud services and enable modern IT approaches such as DevOps. Today, most...

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Oct 08
Smart TVs vs. dedicated streaming media devices

The popularity of OTT SVOD (over-the-top subscription video) has influenced the increase of connected media devices in consumers’ homes. In turn, connected media devices continue to change consumers’ TV/video viewing behavior by bringing a variety of sources of media and entertainment to the larger screen.

From family TV night via broadcasted TV, to binge watching and content stacking via OTT SVOD services on a consumer’s individual time, content consumption is in the control of the consumer. A new report from the Connected Home UX (CHX) group at Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) exploring connected media device ownership has found that the accessibility to connected apps/services provides the convenience of on demand content and a more diverse breadth of TV/video to choose from; pushing consumers to watch more TV/video than ever before.

From smart TVs to dedicated game...

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Oct 07
Gartner: 'replacement indecision' to hamper...

Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are expected to reach 2.4 billion units in 2015, a 1 percent decline from 2014 and down from the previous quarter's forecast of 1.5 percent growth, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). 

"Replacement activity across all types of devices has decreased," says Ranjit Atwal, research director at the research group. "Users are extending the lifetime of their devices, or deciding not to replace their devices at all." 

Gartner's latest device forecast also showed that shipments in all categories will contract in 2015, except for mobile phone shipments, which are on pace to increase 1.4 percent in 2015. Smartphone shipments are estimated to increase 14 percent in 2015. Emerging Asia/Pacific, including India and Indonesia, is on pace to show the strongest growth (43 percent) in 2015, while Greater China will grow three...

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Oct 06
Understanding the smartphone behavior of tweens

For a new generation of consumers, the first smartphone owned will be as a tween (aged 8-12 years). At this life stage, often coinciding with the end of elementary school or commencing middle school, children start to gain some independence from their parents. 

Naturally, as children start doing more things on their own, parents want to be able to stay in touch with their child; the parent’s provision of a smartphone was not only motivated by communication, but also for use at school, in case of emergency and safety. Comparatively, for tweens, the motivation for a smartphone was communication with friends and family, games and texting.

A new report from the Mobile Device UX group at Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) has explored the motivations and behaviors of tweens and parents with smartphones. For parents looking to give their tween a smartphone, ensuring its cost-...

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Oct 05
Majority of gamers lack confidence in developers...

PlayFab (www.playfab.com), a backend service to build, launch and grow live games, has announced findings from its recent survey on cybersecurity concerns and awareness among gamers.

The findings, which include responses from 500 participants that play video games more than four hours per week, revealed that 83 percent of respondents believe game developers should be responsible for securing players' personal data, however fewer than 40 percent said they feel confident in current safeguards.
What's more, while 86 percent of participants expressed concern with protecting personal data on the Internet, data security ranked as one of the lowest priorities when making game purchases for nearly half of all respondents, indicating a disparity between beliefs and actions.

Despite the steady succession of high-profile data breaches over the last year, many businesses and consumers are still not taking...

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Oct 02
Remote device controls feature highly in consumer...

Consumers are looking to their mobile devices to do more and more of what their home PCs or laptops do; this in turn has led to similar security concerns on their mobile devices.

A new report from the Media and Services UX (MSX) group at Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) has found that consumers are increasingly turning to mobile security app services to not only protect their phones and make them feel safer when using them, but also to help recover them and protect their data if their phones are ever lost or stolen. 
Services that come pre-installed on mobile phones become the low-hanging fruit for users – especially those who are unaware that they exist, according to the research group This creates tremendous opportunity for both mobile operators and device OEMs [original equipment manufacturers]alike, providing users with an immediate security service that comes on their...

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Oct 01
The Northern Spy: Back Up To The Old Tricks

By Rick Sutcliffe

Much has happened worth commenting upon in the months that this space has been devoted to explicating some of the features of Modula-2 R10 that make it safe, reliable, and extensible as a problem solving tool. For one thing, a few errors were noted in the June article. R10 uses NOT, but ~ is not a synonym, [DESCENDING] was removed for FOR loops and replaced by FOR selector--, and two escape sequences for strings were omitted due to a misunderstanding. Fixed.

Meanwhile, amidst a new Federal election and accompanying rhetoric, Apple released the iPhone 6s and 6s+ to great anticipation, and wicked-fast sales amounting to thirteen million units in the first weekend. The Spy suspects many of these users are either upgrading old iPhones (pre-6) or switching from other platforms they have come to realize are inconsistent or inadequate for their needs.

Oh, there are some fair enough phones for the budget conscious without extensive...

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Sep 30
Patent options expand with mobile healthcare apps

The number of mobile health applications available to consumers now surpasses 165,000, as developers incorporate innovative data collection features linked to sensors and wearables, according to a new report released today by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

While most available apps focus on overall wellness, healthcare systems and professionals are expressing greater interest and excitement in broader app use as barriers to mainstream adoption of mHealth are removed—especially in the area of chronic disease management.

The IMS Institute study (http://tinyurl.com/oqzeo8n) found that one in 10 apps now has the capability to connect to a device or sensor, providing biofeedback and physiological function data from the patient and greatly extending the accuracy and convenience of data collection. Nearly a quarter of consumer apps are now focused on disease and treatment management,...

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Sep 29
Gartner: more than 75 percent of companies investing...

Investment in big data continues to increase in 2015, but not as rapidly as in previous years. More than three-quarters of companies are investing or planning to invest in big data in the next two years, a three percent increase over 2014, according to a recent survey of IT and business leaders by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).

The survey, which was conducted among 437 Gartner Research Circle Members in June 2015, included global organizations across all industries, both Gartner clients and non-clients.

"This year begins the shift of big data away from a topic unto itself, and toward standard practices," says Nick Heudecker, research director at Gartner. "The topics that formerly defined big data, such as massive data volumes, disparate data sources and new technologies are becoming familiar as big data solutions become mainstream. For example, among companies that have invested in big data technology, 70...

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Sep 28
The web is turning its back on Flash

During his lifetime, Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, was known to be one of the most opinionated figures in the tech world. And while he certainly wasn’t right about everything, there’s one thing he got right years before many others: his famous rejection of Flash.

Five years after Jobs published an open letter defending his company’s decision to leave Flash off its mobile devices and slamming Flash as unreliable and unsafe, the majority of the internet industry has come to the same conclusion.

Flash is now widely regarded as a performance-hampering safety hazard and more and more companies are turning their back on what was once the industry standard: Citing security concerns, Mozilla recently disabled the Flash plugin in its Firefox browser by default; Amazon has banned it from its advertising network and other companies are following suite. In August 2015, just 22 percent of websites in the Alexa Top 10,000 used Flash, down from almost 50 percent...

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Sep 25
Strategy analytics: consumer usage of smartphone...

Navigation tasks are vitally important use-cases for the in-vehicle consumer. Regardless of device type (embedded or portable), a well-put-together and usable connected navigation system must provide information which is timely, relevant, and easily-consumed. A new report from the In-vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) has found key differences in usage and satisfaction among owners of embedded, dedicated portable and smartphone-based navigation systems.

Surveying owners in the US, Western Europe, and China, Strategy Analytics found overall satisfaction to be highest among owners of embedded navigation systems, particularly in the US. However, while usage of embedded navigation systems remains high, the prevalence of smartphone-based app navigation is becoming increasingly ubiquitous. Even so, findings from the survey suggest that users are still most...

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How to take over the world in Dictator 2
Running a country isn't easy - especially when you're a dictator who wants to take over the world and crush everyone in your path while you do it. [Read more] | Read more »
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